The Twelve Days of Low-Carb Christmas

The Twelve Days of Low-Carb Christmas

I used to love singing the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

It signaled a time of celebration and joy, a time to spend with family and create wonderful memories filled with presents, food, and festivities. Christmas time in the “Rio Grande Valley” (bottom tip of South Texas); means “tamales” (pork filling wrapped in a think corn dough), “menudo” (soup with tons of hominy and… well, you don’t really want to know the other main ingredient), “bunuelos” (fried flour tortillas covered with a sugar and cinnamon mixture), and “chocolate” (hot chocolate made with whole milk, real chocolate squares, and cinnamon sticks). Needless to say, that was in my “plumper” days.

Now it’s more like the 40 days of “Festive Fatness.” It is almost impossible for me to try and loose weight at this time! There’s just too many parties, too many family get-togethers, too many plates of goodies at work – just plain too much food!

I looked at my calendar at work today and there are exactly 40 days (yep, count them for yourself!) forty days between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day. Think of the damage that can be done in those 40 days, the pounds can just climb back on. Three pounds over the Thanksgiving weekend leads to five pounds, which leads to ten……. Now you’re talking trouble!

Rather then become overwhelmed with self-imposed pressure to lose weight during this time, my husband and I are going to try and maintain our current weight. In relaxing our low carbohydrate regimes a bit, we’ll also try to maintain our sanity, our marriage, and our commitments to our families, friends, and coworkers.

WHEW!!! Forty days of wandering in the carb wilderness! We’ll manage, though. We have a plan. Rather then avoid everyone and everything this long holiday season, we will maintain our current weight. For those of you who can stay legal throughout the holidays – more power to you! For those of you who actually can lose weight, well, you’re the “bomb”!

After three years of low-carbing we are finding it harder and harder to stay legal. The newness is now a habit and the weigh loss has slowed. After our Thanksgiving Day “feast” we went back to strict induction and cut back to consuming between 15 and 20 grams of carbohydrate a day. The first couple of days back on induction were hard, but after that the cravings stopped and we were back in ketosis in a relatively short period of time.

So far so good! It wasn’t too hard, and I even lost a pound to help give myself a buffer zone for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Never mind the countless parties, evenings out with friends and other social gatherings. The other trick we’ve pretty much mastered is to stay FULL, FULL, FULL on legal foods. We’ve even gotten into the habit of having some cheese or a turkey/ham roll prior to heading out to a party or social to help with the “Cheat Monster.” We’ve found that a lot of the temptation can be removed if you’re satisfied prior to seeing the party “spread”

I really think this maintenance idea will help us stay motivated and encouraged in this way of life process, even if we have little or no weight loss this next month or so. If we don’t gain the dreaded “holiday 10 pounds” we’ll be motivated to keep on target and then aim for weight loss again after the new year. We are going to balance the carb-laden holiday festivities with period of induction eating, and hopefully that will keep us from getting out of control.

We ordered some low carb treats that have really been helpful in getting over the hump once back on induction. We’ll continue to exercise, stay full on legal foods, stay close to induction carb numbers in-between holiday festivities, and maybe – just maybe – we’ll be singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas” at or about the same weight we started this holiday season.

I’ll update you in January with the results of this little experiment!

Please have the happiest of low carb holidays!

Denise Lopez

Denise is a 37-year-old educator from Texas. She and her husband have been following a low carbohydrate lifestyle for over two years.

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The Counting Game

In preparation for this article, I decided I better take a look at the other "stuff" I had written for CarbSmart in order to "stay honest." The first article I wrote for CarbSmart has a footnote that says, "Denise is a 37-year-old educator from Texas. She and her husband have been following a low carbohydrate lifestyle for over two years." WOW! That was some time ago! Now I sit here as a 40-year-old educator from Texas. Time sure does fly!

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